Pregnancy is the time to enjoy healthy eating. The weight gain during this period is natural. The food you eat during this period, supplies the developing fetus its nutrients. During pregnancy, you should eat all types of healthy food. Your healthy eating habit should continue even after childbirth, when you are lactating. A healthy mother can only give birth to a healthy child.
It is recommended, that if for some reasons you are not following a healthy diet, you should switch over to healthy nutrition the moment you take the decision to become pregnant. Although, you should rely on natural foods as the major source of various nutrients, but your physician would recommend certain vitamin and mineral supplements. The diet of pregnant women should be rich in every vitamins, proteins and minerals. However, the diet of a pregnant woman should be especially rich in protein, iron, folate, calcium and vitamin D.
The nutrients reach the fetus from the mother via her blood supply. During pregnancy, the blood supply of the mother increases. Diet rich in iron is most essential during this phase of a woman’s life. Iron deficiency would lead to anemia, which is harmful for both the mother and her growing child. Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, prune, dried fruits, strawberries, broccoli, meats and legumes are rich sources of iron.
Folate is required for the development of new tissues and increase in blood supply. Folate deficiency is often responsible for neural tube defects in infants. You can obtain folate from leafy green vegetables, eggs, legumes, oranges and whole grains.
Calcium is required for the development of the bones of the fetus and for maintaining the bone mass of the mother. Calcium largely comes from milk and dairy products. A pregnant woman should consume 1200mg of Calcium every day.
For the absorption of calcium, vitamin D is essential. Exposure to the early morning and late evening sunlight and vitamin D fortified milk will meet your vitamin D requirement.
During pregnancy, protein requirement increases. Protein is required for healthy muscles, tissues, hormones, enzymes and antibodies.
Sodium is often responsible for raising blood pressure during pregnancy. Excess sodium should therefore be avoided by pregnant women.